Hot section: HAI/FAA Work on Credit for Hums-Equipped Helicopters

 - September 30, 2010, 7:28 AM

The useful life of a given helicopter’s components can vary significantly depending upon its mission, making predictive maintenance challenging, but that might be changing.

The FAA Aviation Research Grants Program has awarded the Helicopter Association International (HAI) a cooperative agreement to support research in the area of health and usage monitoring systems (Hums). According to HAI president Matt Zuccaro, the purpose of Hums is to detect mechanical degradation of the helicopter powertrain to reduce unscheduled maintenance, enhancing aircraft availability and avoiding mechanical failures in flight.

 “When fully implemented the collective impact of these and other features of the Hums will be an increase in safety and operational efficiency throughout the rotorcraft industry,” Zuccaro said.